02.26.22 | MLS Regular Season | Week 1
12:00 p.m. CT (BSN/The CW Twin Cities/MNUFC Radio on SKOR North)
2021 Record
MIN: 13-11-10 (3-7-7 on the road)
PHI: 14-8-12 (11-3-3 at home)

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. (Feb. 25, 2022) – After a Round One loss at Portland Timbers in the MLS Cup Playoffs, Minnesota United is back with a cross-conference matchup against Philadelphia Union, Saturday, February 22 at 12:00 p.m. CT. Game will broadcast on BSN, The CW Twin Cities and SKOR North. The Union return in 2022 hungry for a trophy after just missing the MLS Cup, losing to eventual-MLS Cup Champions NYCFC. The Loons will look to start 2022 hot, after adding more attacking depth than ever before with the return of Abu Danladi and Luis Amarailla, and the addition of South African-international Bongokuhle Hlongwane. With the defensive core back and a focused and fresh attack, the march towards the MLS Cup Playoffs begins at Subaru Park.

“The work ethic of the group, everything we asked of them, we have had a tough preseason, we have probably worked harder than we have in the previous years, and their attitude to work has been outstanding. I thought in the second half against Viking FC, we looked like what we are. Played with a lot of intensity and determination and enthusiasm and all the words that we talk about. That’s been this whole preseason.”

[SPA]: “Bueno lo más emocionante para mí, obviamente es, ser las cosas bien. Yo sé que no tuve un gran año el 2020, lastimosamente lo de la lesión, pero ahora estoy acá con la intención de hacer bien las cosas. Me refiero a hacer lo que prometí de ayudar al equipo, de marcar goles. Y bueno yo creo que lo deseos y la predisposición fueron fundamentales para poder estar acá.”

[ENG]: “Well the most exciting thing for me, obviously, is doing things right. I know that I didn’t have a great year in 2020, unfortunately with the injury, but now I am here with the intention of doing things right. I mean to do what I promised the team, to score goals. And well, I think I my aspirations and the history, they were fundamental to being able to be here.”


While a focal point of Minnesota United heading into the 2022 season will be the effectiveness of its attack and relative goal-scoring ability, the eyes cannot help be drawn to the fact that two of the “new” members of the team come with unfinished business. Luis Amarilla, in his introductory press conference in February 2020, famously said, “One of the things I discussed with Adrian is that I promised him 25 goals, and I think that’s something I can do.” By that measure, 22 goals are coming this season, and Amarilla’s 15 goals across all competitions in 2021, matched with good health and a goal in last Saturday’s preseason finale, provide nothing but good vibes. Abu Danladi, meanwhile, returns from two years in Nashville and will once again seek to find the magic of his (and the Loons) debut season in MLS, in which he tallied eight goals in 27 appearances — a level of production he has failed to live up to since, with a total of just six goals over four years.


If there’s a given in professional sports of all shapes and sizes, it’s that winning games is good. If there’s a second given in professional sports of all shapes and sizes, it’s that winning your first game of the season is even better. Minnesota has won just two of their five season openers in MLS: after back-to-back wins at Vancouver in 2019 and Portland in 2020, they suffered an unfortunate 4-0 defeat in last season’s opener in Seattle. (As an aside: they also won their first match of the MLS is Back Tournament in 2020, but failed to claim victory in their return to regular season match in that same year). For additional historical fun, Minnesota is 1-2-1 against Philadelphia in their years in MLS, but recorded their first win in that matchup in its most recent iteration, a 3-2 win at Allianz Field in October that was a critical result in the Loons making their way to the playoffs in 2021. That game featured goals from Adrien Hunou, Franco Fragapane and Robin Lod, all three of whom could appear in Saturday’s game.


And what preseason storyline would be complete without a little mention of Emanuel Reynoso? Reynoso recorded just ten assists in 2021 after storming into the league with seven each in the 2020 regular season and 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs (which remains an all-time record for a single year’s playoffs). This was still good enough to be one of just 13 players in MLS with double-digit assists in 2021, and one of only four to pair that quantity of assists with at least five goals. Some of Reynoso’s passing stats look even better than that; he ranked sixth in the league last season in total accurate passes in the forward zone, and was second only to MLS MVP, Carles Gil, in total attacking assists (stats via Suffice to say that all of Minnesota’s attacking talents, both returning and, well, returning, stand to benefit from Reynoso’s many gifts.

Minnesota United
P. Weah – Knee
A. Danladi – Thigh
C. Gasper – Head
J. Hayes – Thigh
R. Metanire – Thigh
W. Trapp – Hip